Knowledge is only Power when it is Shared A research on the effects of knowledge spillovers on firm's innovativeness

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Literature shows us that firms can innovate without performing R&D activities, although this research on non-R&D innovation is quite little. This study tries to unravel if knowledge spillovers have an effect on firm innovativeness, to fill this gap in literature. Knowledge spillovers are the appearance whereby investments in knowledge creation by one party produce external benefits by facilitating innovation by other parties. These knowledge spillovers could explain how more than half of the European firms that are innovative, do not conduct R&D, not internally nor externally. To investigate this, the following objective is composed: This study sets to examine in what respect external non-R&D collaborations generate knowledge spillovers affecting the different types of innovativeness of Dutch manufacturing firms. To do so, this research includes literature study and empirical research. This latter consists of regression analyses to look at the linear relations between external non-R&D collaborations and the different innovation appearances and of mediation analyses. These are conducted to investigate the indirect effect of external non-R&D collaborations on technological product innovation, through R&D. The data that is used for this is derived from the European Manufacturing Survey and consists of 177 Dutch manufacturing firms. The most important results these analyses yielded are that external non-R&D collaborations generate knowledge spillovers that affect non-technological innovations, but not technological innovations. For both organizational innovation and product-service innovation a significant and positive effect was found. The relations between external non-R&D collaborations and process innovation and product innovation were not found significant. The indirect relation through R&D was insignificant either. The conclusion we can derive from this, is that external non-R&D collaborations only affect non-technological innovation. That it would not affect product innovation was taken into account, hence the indirect effect was measured. But that the indirect effect was not significant and that external non-R&D collaborations did not seem to have an effect on process innovation were unexpected.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen